Camp Nou

Next Game

Barcelona v Ath Bilbao

Saturday, 13 September 2014, 15:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

El Madrigal

Last Game

Villarreal 0 - 1 Barcelona

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 18:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Barca boss defends long balls

Gerardo Martino defended Barcelona's use of the long ball in the wake of fan restlessness during the 4-0 Champions League win over Ajax.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 18:39 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Coach adding 'alternatives' to Barcelona's style of

Gerardo Martino: Coach adding 'alternatives' to Barcelona's style of

Martino's first Champions League match in charge ended in a resounding success at the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi netting a hat-trick.

Martino said on the club's website: "FC Barcelona recently reached footballing excellence and therefore the fans are more demanding.

"I understand that they didn't like the first half, that they weren't satisfied. But they should be fairly satisfied with the second half."

The Catalans won the Champions League twice in three seasons under Pep Guardiola, most recently in 2011.

Martino said his objective was to "reach the same place Barca always reach" but he will not stick exclusively to a tiki-taka style.

He added: "We don't want to change the team's style of play, but I saw (former Barca defender Rafael) Marquez make long passes too five years ago.

"It doesn't mean we're changing the style if we add alternatives to our play."

The Argentinian accepted his side's first-half performance against the Amsterdammers was not up to scratch, but was happier with the way they played after the break.

"It wasn't a brilliant match, but we put in a strong performance," he said.

"Our second half was better than our first. We controlled the game better, we pressured and we defended well.

"If we had played the second half like we did the first we would have taken a step back, but we corrected our errors and I believe that we took a step forward.

"We had a noticeable change. I think our victory is just, especially because of what we did in the second half."

Ajax boss Frank de Boer saw positives from his side's start to the game - they trailed only 1-0 at the break - but said they were punished in the second half.

"I'm very pleased with the first half," he said on the Ajax website. "We had just as many opportunities as Barcelona, and continued to play good football.

"I thought that we gave away too much space in the second half. In the end, it cost us four goals, and that's painful. We need to stay positive and look ahead to the next game."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

England name team to face Norway and John Stones will start

John Stones has been named in England’s starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly against Norway.

International friendly: England v Norway preview

Team news for Wednesday's international friendly clash between England and Norway at Wembley (kick-off 8pm).

England captain Wayne Rooney 'looks chubby', says Norway's Vegard Forren

Norway defender Vegard Forren says England captain Wayne Rooney “looks a bit chubby”.

Mail Box

Reasons To Feel Positive At Spurs...

They didn't complete any big deals on deadline day, but that doesn't mean Spurs fans should be down about their hopes this season. Plus, United fans say farewelbz...

Danny Welbeck - Yes, No And Maybe

And understandably busy Mailbox with the instant reactions with those happy and sad on their club's transfer dealings. On Welbeck, Arsenal, United, Spurs and loans...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property